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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

The Alliance of Women Film Journalist (AWFJ) Reveal 2017 EDA Award Winners

The 2018 award season to honor the films of 2017 is on its way and the latest announcement comes from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. The recipients of these annual awards cover twenty five categories spread over three sections including the traditional ‘Best Of’, the distinct Female Focus awards, and the irreverent EDA Special Mention awards, which include Actress Most in Need of a New Agent and a Hall of Shame award.

This year’s big winner, The Shape of Water comes as no surprise as the popular forerunner for Oscar has been snatching up prizes left and right. The AWFJ honored Guillermo Del Toro's film with awards in two categories including Best Film and Best Director. The film’s lead actress, Sally Hawkins, was also awarded for the Bravest Performance of the year. Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird was (as expected) honored with three awards that included Best Supporting Actress for Laurie Metcalf and awards for Gerwig for both Best Woman Director and Best Woman Screenwriter.

Now, lets get down to Indies unlikely to see Oscar gold. The small, independent feature and festival darling, The Florida Project won two Awards. One for Willem Dafoe as Best Supporting Actor and another for young Brooklynn Prince for the Best Breakthrough Performance of the year (a well deserved recognition of talent). In the Special Mention Categories, the esteemed documentary filmmaker Agnes Varda was voted the Actress Defying Age and Ageism Award, while receiving the Best Documentary Award for her film “Faces, Places.” Not bad for an old broad pushing 90!

And then there is the "Shame" award. Most obviously, Kate Winslet won the Actress Most in Need of a New Agent for “Wonder Wheel” and “The Mountain Between Us.” On the up side, The AWJF chose to honor Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd and all women who spoke out against sexual harassment by bestowing upon them the Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry. Without these ladies we'd still be facing an industry turning a blind eye to a denigrating practice. Well our eyes are now open. Let's see what people do about it.

Speaking of which, the annual Hall of Shame Award was bestowed upon Sexual Tormentors: Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, et al. "This year was an important year for women to feel empowered to speak out and be heard," states AWFJ founder and film critic Jennifer Merin. "The need for gender parity and gender diversity in the movie industry is patently clear, and the time to stop sexual harassment in all industries is now. These goals are fundamental to AWFJ's mission and it's core values. I am thrilled that for this year's awards, our AWFJ members voted to honor such a diverse array of talent and to recognize those who are leading with their voices to put an end to long time misconduct making [our] 2017 Awards particularly relevant when art and film must be the vanguard of social progress."

No doubt we will continue to see an impact of the MeToo movement upon many awards this season. Sadly, that seems to be the only thing to which a male dominated industry will respond. When you take away the awards people sit up and take notice. Because awards mean money, status, and power. What happens when people stop getting these things? They change their behavior so that they can get those things back. So, say something and change will follow.

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